When faced with Zika: Prevent and decide!

If you live in a country affected by Zika and are pregnant, it is important that you know the risks, prevention and care methods, and safe methods to terminate your pregnancy if you would like to do so. We can help!

Zika and pregnancy: Risks

One of the primary risks of Zika infection during a pregnancy is the possibility of microcephaly in the newborn (under ongoing investigation). But what is microcephaly and how does it impact a baby’s development? The WHO states that:

  • Microcephaly is a condition where a baby is born with a small head or the head stops growing after birth.
  • Babies born with microcephaly may develop convulsions and suffer physical and learning disabilities as they grow older.
  • There are no specific tests to determine if a baby will be born with microcephaly, but ultrasound scans at 28 weeks or in the third trimester of pregnancy can sometimes identify the problem. Microcephaly is often diagnosed at birth, or sometimes even later.
  • There is no specific treatment for microcephaly.

Zika and pregnancy: Prevention and care

All individuals, whether they are pregnant or not, should adopt the following preventative measures:

  • Protect against mosquito bites.
  • Avoid mosquito-breeding areas.
  • Use appropriate protection during sexual relations to avoid infection from a partner that has been exposed to the virus.

Additionally, keep in mind the following prevention and care tips:

If you are currently pregnant:

  • Do not travel to areas with active Zika outbreaks.
  • Attend prenatal appointments to receive information and appropriately manage your pregnancy.

If you are at risk for an unwanted pregnancy:

  • Visit a health center to discuss the contraceptive method that’s right for you.
  • In the case of unprotected sexual relations, use emergency contraception.

If you are trying to get pregnant:

  • Consider the risks for your future baby- discuss them with your partner, family, and friends and/or with a healthcare provider.
  • Do not travel to areas with active Zika outbreaks.

Zika, the Film 30-minute film by Vozes da Igualdade, March 2016, in Portuguese with English subtitles

Zika and abortion: Safe options

If you are pregnant, infected with the Zika virus, and worried about the possibility of microcephaly, you do have options. You may choose to continue your pregnancy, making sure to attend all prenatal appointments.

You may also choose to have an abortion. It’s your decision! If you are considering a medication abortion, safe2choose offers quality services that are non-judgmental, confidential, safe, convenient, and inexpensive. .